The American probe sent its first pictures of the south of the Moon

The American probe sent its first pictures of the south of the Moon

The Odysseus lunar lander appears next to the arrow that researchers added to the image, after landing on the Moon on February 22, 2024.

No ship has yet landed at the southernmost point of the moon.

The Odysseus probe of the American company Intuitive Machines has sent its first images of the southernmost place on the moon where no spacecraft has ever landed, and the private company shared two images on Monday on the social network X.

The vehicle, which is more than four meters high, landed on the moon's surface at 11:23 pm GMT on Thursday, the first time for the United States in more than 50 years. This is also a first for a private company.

But twists and turns, particularly the failure of the navigation system, complicated the final landing and the probe found itself lying on one side instead of landing vertically. “Odysseus continues to communicate with Nova Control flight controllers from the surface of the moon.”Intuitive Machines said on Monday, posting two photos on…

“Success with small flaws,” according to Jonathan McDowell

The device specifically transports scientific instruments from NASA, which wants to explore the south pole of the moon before sending its astronauts there, as part of the Artemis missions. The US Space Agency decided to request this service from private companies. This strategy should allow him to make the trip more often and for less money. But also to stimulate the development of a lunar economy, capable of supporting a permanent human presence on the Moon, which is one of the goals of the Artemis programme.

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this “Success with small flaws”Astronomer and space mission expert Jonathan McDowell commented to AFP, appreciating this:“There are definitely things to solve in the upcoming missions.”NASA's project is moving in the right direction. The Japanese space agency JAXA announced on Monday that the Japanese SLIM probe, which has been placed on the moon since the end of January, has been activated again. It is also placed at an angle and its west-facing photovoltaic cells do not receive sunlight.

For Jonathan McDowell, these two falls could indicate that the upper parts of current probes are too heavy, and thus current generation machines are more likely to capsize in low gravity.

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